Some FIs and parts of the private sector discuss pay hikes

With the 50-74 percent pay hike given for the civil servants since July, the private sector is also gearing up for a pay hike, starting from financial institutions (FIs) to small companies, and even Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The Bhutan Chamber for Commerce & Industry (BCCI) will be increasing the pay for their employees, shared the President of BCCI, Tandy Wangchuk. He also shared that corporations have agreed for pay hikes.

The director of operations and IT of Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL) stated that BIL will be increasing their employees’ pay. “We have been working on it for about a month or two, and our pay hike will be a bit different from the civil service pay hike, as our proposal is a mixed model. The FIs are coming up with their own hikes. At the moment, we have yet to have a board meeting, therefore, we can’t comment on the percentage of hike, but there will definitely be a hike.”

Similarly, Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNBL) is also in discussion about the pay hike.

One of the biggest business in the country, Lhaki Group is also looking into hiking the pay for their employees, sharing that the group has already given some allowances to their staff, 15-45 percent depending on their profit earnings.

Tashi group has yet to hold a discussion on the pay hike.

An official from Singye Agency shared that they are yet to discuss their pay hike, given the downtrodden economy. However, the official said that incentives, in the form of tax exemptions, will be helpful in terms of giving a pay hike.

 Small business companies, like iBEST studios is also discussing about pay hikes.

Retail industry, such as restaurants might be unable to afford a pay hike. Most retailers share the sentiment that they are running on a loss, without any income generation.

There also seems to be discussions on pay hikes for education consultancies too.

However, given the state of the economy the hikes will be limited to mainly bigger companies and there too it will not be comparable to the civil service. This is why the companies mentioned above are mainly profitable FIs or bigger companies who have revenue flow and a cash pile.

The tourism industry and hotels will even be happy if they can meet normal expenses.

Apart from resource constraints another challenge to give a hike will be the uncertainty going ahead. Any company would not like to give generous hikes now and later struggle to even pay salaries when the business goes down.

For now, while big banks and big brand names discuss a hike the bulk of the private sector is struggling.

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